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American Chop Suey: The Cheesy, Beefy, Misnamed Stovetop Casserole That Deserves a Comeback

Beefaroni, macaroni and beef, chili mac, Johnny Marzetti, or American chop suey, call it what you will, but whatever its origins, there's one thing for sure: the stuff is delicious. Tender pasta with a rich tomato and beef sauce flavored with garlic and oregano, cooked together with onions and peppers, and finished with cheese, this is Italian-American comfort food at its finest. Not only that, but it's a ridiculously easy dish to put together, cooked 100% on the stovetop, and requiring nothing more than a pot, a bowl, and about half an hour of your time. More

Sweet or Savory, Martabak is the King of Indonesian Street Food

Most Javanese food can attribute its relative simplicity to the fact that it's an indigenous cuisine that has remained largely unaffected by outside forces, save for a bit of Chinese influence in certain dishes. Martabak, a roti-like stuffed fried flatbread, is a notable exception. Even on Java, folks I talked to said "this isn't Javanese food, it's Indian." Others trace its origins to the Middle East. Either way, it's one of the best street foods around. More

How to Make Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Weigh You Down

Don't get me wrong—I'm not a health nut or calorie counter. But let's face it: the feeling you get after downing a bowl of creamy, cheesy Fettuccine Alfredo ain't the best. Wouldn't it be great to have a quick and easy version that has all the flavor of the cream-packed original, but with a cleaner flavor that doesn't leave you in a food coma? More

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

This is red sauce. The slow-cooked, rib-sticking Italian-American stew designed to fill you up with equal parts flavor and pride. It's the kind of sauce for which you open up the windows while you're cooking just to make sure that everyone else in the neighborhood knows what you're up to. It's the kind of sauce you want your meatballs swimming in, your chicken parm bathed in, and the sauce that you want not just tossed with your spaghetti, but spooned on top in quantities that'd make a true Italian cry out in distress. The kind of sauce that tastes like it took all day to make, because it really took all day to make. And the best part? This version is worth every minute. More

Nice and Easy Sautéed Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Cherry Tomatoes with Chilies and Herbs

I spend a lot of time writing about complex techniques, but in truth, most of the stuff I like to cook for myself at home is pretty simple. This is one of those nice and easy summer dishes that relies only on great produce—zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes—and simple technique, but comes with a little bit of a rough twist at the end. More

Soft Cooked Eggs With Kaya Jam and Toast: Singapore's Signature Breakfast is Right Up My Alley

One of my favorite snacks has always been a soft-cooked egg which I break into a bowl, drizzle with soy sauce and pepper, stir up, and slurp down. I always thought I was a little weird for loving it so much. But then I found vindication in one of Singapore's staple breakfasts: kaya toast served with soft boiled eggs and strong coffee sweetened with sugar and evaporated milk (the soy sauce and pepper are added at your own discretion). More

Who Knew Butter and Dairy-Free Cookies Could Be So Good? New Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough From Hampton Creek is Solid

Last year, Hampton Creek's Just Mayo vegan mayonnaise beat out our winning brand of traditional mayonnaise in a blind taste test. Now the company is about to release Just Cookie Dough, the vegan chocolate chip cookie dough they've been working on. Could their cookies pull off the same trick as their mayo in an informal taste test? We enlisted the help of strangers to find out. More

Cast Iron Cooking: The Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots That Will Forever Change How You Entertain

Who doesn't like knotted bites of tender, chewy, golden-brown pizza dough that are tossed in butter with flecks of garlic and herbs clinging to the nooks and crannies? Now imagine those same garlic knots, but with flecks of crisp, spicy pepperoni worked in, along with the kind of golden brown, crusty bottom that only a cast iron skillet can impart. And let's throw in the wafting steam and moist, tender center that pull-apart breads come with, and oh, how about two different cheeses? Sound good to you? More

Four Essential Northern Thai Dishes to Make Right Now

All week I've been publishing recipes and stories from Northern Thailand, the country's least exported regional cuisines. With strong funky aromas, heavy spicing, and the kind of bitter and hot flavors that can make you weep simultaneous tears of pain and pleasure, it's definitely not Thai Food 101 material, but you'll be richly rewarded if you delve into it. If you can't make it all the way to the spice markets and roadside restaurants in Chiang Mai, making these dishes at home is the next best thing. More

Recipes From Chiang Mai: How to Make Real Deal Khao Soi Gai (Coconut Curry Noodle Soup With Chicken)

Khao soi, a curry- and coconut-flavored noodle soup, is Northern Thailand's most famous export. Westernized Thai recipes often make compromises to suit Western palates. Not this time. This is the recipe for folks who are willing to scour the backstreets in search of makrut limes and settle for nothing but fresh turmeric. Fasten your seatbelts, we're going for a trip. More

So You Like Flavor? Don't Soak Your Black Beans!

I've spent my whole life soaking black beans before cooking them just like every other bean around. But Russ Parsons of the L.A. Times recently chastised me for it, claiming that un-soaked black beans are better in almost every way. I put it to the test, comparing soaked and un-soaked beans for flavor, texture, color, ease of preparation, and, er, digestibility. Guess which method came out on top? More

Recipes From Chiang Mai: Yum Jin Gai (Spiced Chicken Soup)

Think of the best chicken soup you've had: steaming hot, rich, comforting, and soul-satisfying to the core. Now add to that the complex fragrance of fresh Thai herbs like lemongrass, galangal, a sweet shallots. And wait, we're not done yet! To that base, add a big fat pinch of warm Northern Thai spices and you're starting to get an idea of what yum jin gai is all about. More

Lunch Hack: Use a Pizza Wheel To Chop Your Salad Directly in the Bowl

I had a bit of a shock-and-awe-style jaw-drop when I saw our Account Executive Leandra making herself a salad for lunch earlier this summer. She dumped some whole spinach leaves and other ingredients into a bowl, reached for the pizza wheel, and started rolling it over the greens directly in the bowl. The method is sheer brilliance from a purely lazy, I-don't-want-to-wash-a-cutting-board standpoint. I'll cop to having used it ever since. More

Recipes From Chiang Mai: Larb Muang Moo (Northern Thai-Style Chopped Pork Salad)

This ain't your grandma's pork larb. Unless your grandma happens to be of Lanna descent and native to Northern Thailand, in which case, this is probably very much like your grandma's pork larb. Unlike Isan larb, this is a darker mince, with tender bits of lean pork mixed together with chunks of fat, chewy bits of intestine, and a rich, thick sauce flavored with crushed spices and pork blood. It's not larb for the faint of heart, but it's one worth seeking out or cooking at home if you've got any interest in offal. More

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make Lighter Tuna Noodle Casserole With Just One Pan (and No Knives!)

Pasta with a light and creamy sauce, tender chunks of tuna, and peas, in about 15 minutes start to finish. This is the kind of recipe that I wish I'd known in college. All it takes is a single large skillet or pot, one burner or hot plate, a bowl, and a fork. That's it. And on top of that, it turns out a dish that's not just good-given-the-constraints, but legitimately good-enough-that-I-would've-made-it-for-that-girl-I-was-trying-to-impress-in-college or even good-enough-for-a-mildly-romantic-weeknight-dinner-with-the-wife. More

The Food Lab Turbo: Why You Should Really Be Grilling Your Cabbage

Every year, when fall vegetables begin dominating the farmers markets, I have the same though process: charred brussels sprouts are so damn awesome, I wonder if there are other similar vegetables that I can char to get the same effect? It turns out the answer is yes: pretty much any brassica will get nice and sweet and nutty when exposed to extreme high heat, and the simplest of them all, the basic green cabbage, is no exception. More

Headed to Chiang Mai? Don't Miss the Stellar Khao Soi at Lamduon Fahrm

Chiang Mai easily makes the list of my top five favorite cities in the world. Culinarily, it's one of the least familiar regions of Thailand. The local dishes, influenced by Burma to the Northwest, and China's Yunnan province and Laos to the north, don't really make it far beyond Northern Thai borders. With the exception of a few dishes at Pok Pok, Andy Ricker's ode to Chiang Mai in Portland and New York, I'd never seen half the dishes I tasted while we were there. The big exception is Khao Soi, the area's most popular export. I was eager to taste this fantastic dish at the source. More

Should You Refrigerate Tomatoes? Further Testing Says...

@Lucian

That's actually a good point. It certainly happens to me that way. I've had more tomatoes sit around int he fridge and go bad than counter tomatoes, despite the longer shelf life. Mostly it comes down to the fact that when I have a tomato craving, I want it NOW. I don't have time to pull it out of the fridge and wait for it to come back to room temperature, so it just sits there until it rots. On the counter, I can eat it whenever I feel like it, even though it's not clear to me that it's losing flavor compared to if I were to keep it in the fridge.

But eating a sub-optimal tomato is better than not eating a perfect tomato, I suppose.

How to Make Quick and Easy Italian-American Red Sauce That Tastes Slow-Cooked

@Rio Yeti

I don't think it's a really fair comparison. I didn't try Daniel's exact recipe (he's in NY and I'm in SF), but I've been making a bunch of really similar sauces for the last couple of weeks to test other Italian-American recipes with (wait for Chicken Parm tomorrow).

The long-cooked sauce tastes pretty different from any kind of short-cooked sauce, even one that does everything it can to taste long cooked (like this one). It's really one of those situations where you can do 90% more work and make your sauce say, 20% better by using my recipe, or you can choose to do only 10% of the work and settle for something that's still pretty f*&king awesome.

It's all about what you're looking for. Have all day to kill and willing to put in the time? The slow-cooked sauce will be what I believe is the best sauce you can make. Have under an hour to put dinner on the table? Well given those restrictions, this recipe is the best sauce you're going to get as well. They aren't really competing in the same arena.

@Porgy Sashimi

haha, Daniel is hardly a temp. He's a freakishly accomplished restaurant cook, recipe developer, and writer. We work on pretty much every story together and talk about testing, angle of attack, critique each other's work, etc. and frankly, it's been awesome having someone around who I can bounce ideas off of and will call me out when I start spouting too much bulls&it (which frankly happens more often than you'd like to know).

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

@Mike Rupp

Point taken, but I would argue that as an outsider, you actually stand a *better* chance of figuring out what makes a certain cuisine tick. Growing up, you know your own version (or your neighborhood or town's version) of gravy as gravy. All else is wrong. As an outsider, I can examine recipes from all over the place and come into it with no bias or preconceived notion of what it is. For instance, yo insist that it must have meat, well I can tell you that this is not the case. There are at least as many (and probably more) recipes that have no meat as those that do.

Similarly, when someone like, say, Fuschia Dunlop studies Sichuan cuisine and writes a book about it, the end result is something that is more balanced, more inclusive, and more historically accurate than what you'd get from asking a single honest-to-goodness Sichuan chef what Sichuan food is.

I can tell you that in researching this piece, I read up an awful lot on what the "traditional process" is, so it's not fair to claim I disregarded it in your first paragraph.

Anyhow, the point here was very much *not* to make something exactly like Italian-Americans make. That would be pointless. There are millions of recipes out there if that's what you want to do (and good luck finding two Italian-Americans who actually agree on what "Italian-Americans" do).

The goal here was to come up with a sauce that was true in spirit to what most folks would expect when hitting a good Italian-American restaurant, then to optimize that by updating techniques a bit.

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

@pokpok

hmm... no easy fix for that. Most likely though it'll still taste ok, but just have a bit of a bitter aftertaste. You can't really fix it once it's in there...

American Chop Suey: The Cheesy, Beefy, Misnamed Stovetop Casserole That Deserves a Comeback

@salinabee

You can find it in most grocery stores, and if not, ask the guy behind the deli to cut you off a block without slicing it!

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

@rdwlcw

Daniel did an awesome post about making sauce from fresh tomatoes. Check it out here!

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

@JudytheViking

I was at the Alameda Antiques Faire two weekends ago. Definitely saw some quality cast iron, though it's really pricey compared to what I've seen elsewhere, even for vintage!

Those little scrapers look pretty cool. I might pick some up. They'd be great for scraping out the bottoms of cups and such.

@murrvalous

Ah, too bad. But good thing for me I stocked up on them a few years ago :)

Sweet or Savory, Martabak is the King of Indonesian Street Food

@Irene

We did hit a couple of the sit-on-the-floor fried-things places and had marginally better meals, but still, I don't know... is it terrible of me to say that it just wasn't very good? I must have had ayam goreng a dozen times in search of a good version, but the fried chicken was invariably dry and tough and the gado-gado crazy sweet (I hear that's a Jogja thing).

As for Bali, I had plenty of great food there, actually. That was the highlight culinarily as far as Indonesia went. Lots of fresh things, and a really different approach to flavoring and technique. You're right about Lovina though. It consists of about a half dozen tourist restaurants that all serve the same version of crappy pizza and overcooked seafood. The only decent food I found was the guy selling martabak by the side of the highway late at night. Even the satay vendors there were selling gristly, pre-cooked, tough junk that wasn't worth eating.

The best food I had in Bali was stopping at the side of the road for babi guling (I went to about a dozen different babi guling restaurants to look for the best), and I liked the fried bebek restaurants near Ubud, despite the high prices and tourists.

How to Make Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Weigh You Down

@dorek

It's pretty different, but I'd say that the difference between what you get in an average Italian American restaurant as Fettucine Alfredo is more vastly different from the Roman original than this version is. My version lies somewhere in between the original and what it has become. As far as the egg is concerned, most jarred Alfredo sauces actually are made with egg as well, so it's really not that fantastically new/different.

How to Make Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Weigh You Down

@cvenable

Well not really, as carbonara is not made with cream or added dairy other than cheese. The sauce in carbonara is much lighter/thinner/milder tasting. This one is pretty rich and creamy, though it's not very heavy either.

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

@Sandfan

Le Creuset enamelware is pretty darn easy to clean actually!

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

@johnnytakes5

Haha, I didn't even realize that as I was writing it. It SHOULD have been digital!

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

@rbave

I either hold them in one hand, or if I need to use two hands for other tasks, set the metal bowl inside a pot lined with a kitchen towel to stabilize it.

How to Make Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Weigh You Down

@selyar

With a timer and some really weird hand positioning. I swear, somebody should take a photo of me taking photos of myself some time. There are times when I have my arms reaching forward around a tripod, but splayed out to the side so that they don't look like they're coming from the camera, then having to press the button with my chin to set the timer because my hands are covered in flour/oil/whatever.

Equally hard is food beauty shots where something is on a spoon, like a bite of stretchy cheese from a bowl of pasta. You gotta sort of approximate where you're going to hold the food, set the time, focus the camera where the food is going to be, hit the button, then run over and hold the spoon up, hoping you hit the right spot.

That's why it takes me like 2 hours to complete a recipe with an actual cook time of 20 minutes.

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

@Jozerphine

Added!

@shrutes

Yes it can! The instructions are in step 4: "Sauce can also be frozen in sealed containers for up to 6 months. To reheat, warm very gently in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, stirring until it all melts and heats through."

@TheOilCan

Right at the beginning: first line of the recipe. 300°F.

@Camnavy 5 quart should be big enough, though yes, I'm using an 8 quart. The sauce starts out as just over 4 quarts before reducing. With a 5 quart Dutch oven, you may end up with a little splatter over the edges as it bubbles away.

@badger_bbqer

Yes, it can be easily doubled or tripled or quadrupled. If I were doing a really big batch, I'd cook it in a deep-walled turkey roaster.

@imwalkin

I'm honored.

And definitely, the meat is something that'd work well.

@hopittome

It would work fine in a slow cooker, but you wouldn't get quite the same degree of caramelization in the pot. I haven't tested it per se, but slow cooker tomato sauces generally work quite well.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

@lissale

Just add a tiny bit of sugar to taste (I won't tell).

@acgo1

Actually I tried making it in a pressure cooker. The problem is you don't get any evaporation/reduction in a pressure cooker so no, not really. It also doesn't brown the top the way the oven does.

@Daniel

Parsnip is a clever idea!

@strawberrygurl

You can definitely make it one day and serve it the next. I've been using various batches of this for almost a week now. It reheats (and even freezes) just fine.

For halving it, you'd want to use a smaller pot and just monitor it while its in the oven. It should be thick and stew-like when its done. I'd imagine it'll take maybe 2 hours less time.

@StudioGal

That's interesting! I've seen Bolognese sauces with some degree of spicing before, but not cinnamon. That's almost like Greek-style chili sauce that you get in the midwest, made with cinnamon and cloves and such.

@simon

As far as I'm aware, the "extra virgin" label here actually is controlled the same way it is in Europe and has to do with measured acid content (and of course the basic processing). Some extra virgins have sediment, some don't, but filtering doesn't have any bearing on whether something can or should be called extra virgin.

Or by no regulation, do you mean that there's no auditing party to make sure people slapping those labels on are really following the rules? That's quite possible, though I'd argue that who really cares, so long as the consumer can taste the differences in the end.

I haven't tried the Ybarra stuff, but as for the Bertoli, it's not really light and clear. It's not the greatest olive oil in the world, but you wouldn't mistake it on either appearance or flavor as a "light" olive oil.

Actually, funny story about Bertoli: I was doing an olive oil taste test with Mr. Olive Oil himself Steve Jenkins of Fairway market. It was a whole bunch of his fancy olive oils, along with a bottle of Bertoli. During the course of the taste test, the sample cups got a little mixed up. He tasted the Bertoli thinking it was something else and had a lot of nice things to say about it. I didn't have the heart to correct him...

Anyhow, I agree with you that it'd be nice if there was a bit more regulation on certain things like olive oils and cheeses. Or at least more transparency.

@Eric.

I don't mind the seeds in canned tomatoes as much as I do in fresh. Perhaps something in the canning process breaks them down a bit, but I find that they blend right into the finished sauce.

@naags

Yes, anchovies would work! I've never tried making my own fish sauce. But what about it makes it unkosher?

@darklighter

AWESOMELY.

Actually, last week I had a bit of extra dough left over, so instead of pepperoni garlic knots, I tossed them with a simple tapenade I made with kalamata olives, garlic, and anchovies before letting them rise and bake. We dipped the olive bread in the sauce. It was good :)

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

@cutterroberts

There isn't unfortunately. Alfredo is one of those things you gotta eat straight away, especially because fresh pasta absorbs liquid as it cools and turns mushy.

@Kale Shepherd

It depends on who you ask/how strict you are. Many vegetarians will still eat cheese made with animal-based rennet and still consider themselves vegetarians. Our tags tend to be more inclusive than exclusive so that people get the broadest range of returns when they search by tag. We figure the folks who don't eat rennet-based cheese know what they are and who they are, so they can easily mentally filter out those recipes.

How to Make Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Weigh You Down

@RAbbas

Yep, that's the trick: not much water. I usually cheat and add a touch of cornstarch tossed in with my cheese as well to make extra sure it won't separate. And yes, I use some butter :)

How to Make Rich and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo That Won't Weigh You Down

@othelwaite

Maybe for you, but I know I get food coma after alfredo or Mac and cheese, but not from, say, spaghetti with tomato sauce or bolognese. The difference is the amount of cheese and cream.


@leandra

Hahahaha.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

@blue tecken

Vodka would make it taste hotter. You could do it, it'd just be a different sauce. Same with the wine. I think I'd prefer the wine over the vodka generally.

@porgy_sashimi

Oh man, you're right!

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

@banannaP

Not overkill. Go ahead and do it if that's what you like!

@pretzlcoatl

I fed the carrot to my dogs (they loved it). The onion you can chop, season, and spread on a slice of bread. Tasty!

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

@jms9090

If you can find tomatoes packed in juice, I prefer those to tomatoes packed in puree. Either way, you don't want to get rid of the extra liquid inside them. If you were making a quick sauce and rapidly concentrating flavor was your goal, then that would be a good move. But here, we're reducing to much water content that even dilute flavor will end up as intense flavor down the line.

@drdrowsy

Sorry about that, fixing now, thanks for catching it!

@Ming-Tzu

You could, though personally I think it's a little too thick for pizza sauce. I prefer my pizza sauce cooked for a much shorter period of time (and depending on the style, sometimes not cooked at all). Check out my New York Pizza Sauce. It's pretty similar but differs in some key areas.

Cast Iron Cooking: The Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots That Will Forever Change How You Entertain

@Benton

your oven could just heat a little differently from mine. I'd try just lowering the rack by a slot or two. That should help it even out.

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

@lil_brown_bat

What rlp122 said!

@hototogisu

I'd just go with extra olive oil. You might miss a bit of the velvetiness, but the flavor will be good.

Singapore-Style Soft Cooked Eggs With Kaya Jam and Toast

@silmer

You're right, the pan should be taken off heat. It should be updated now!

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples. More

Video: Serious Eats Cooks Peking Duck At Buddakan

Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour. More

60+ Holiday Snacks in 20 Minutes Or Less

Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap. More

30 Cookie Recipes from the 2011 Serious Eats Cookie Swap

The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here. More

Serious Eats' Bacon Banh Mi

Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible. More

My All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy

When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen. More

BraveTart: Make Your Own 3 Musketeers

Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote." More

BraveTart: Make Your Own (Better) Soft Batch Cookies

When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing. More

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

Boston: Fried Ipswich Clams at B&G Oysters

These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor. More

Boston: Tamarind Bay's Lalla Musa Dal

As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

How to Make Bagels at Home

I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along! More